If you try just one tamarillo recipe in your life, make it this one from Maricel Presilla, author of a forthcoming book on the foods of Latin America, from which the following is adapted. She developed this “ultimate shrimp cocktail” from one she discovered in the Ecuadorian highlands and now serves in her enchanting restaurant, Zafra, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Tart, fruity yellow tamarillo puree accented with citrus, garlic, chilli, onion, and cilantro envelops shrimp for a cebiche (or seviche or ceviche) unlike any you’re likely to have tasted.
Sour or bitter orange, ubiquitous in Caribbean cooking, is found in Latin American markets, particularly Cuban ones, where it is on hand most of the year. If it is not available, other citrus substitutes will do.
To prepare the dish in advance: Cook the shrimp, puree the tamarillo, and prepare the juice, chilli, and onion; then refrigerate the components. Allow to reach room temperature before combining and serving. Although not as lush, the cebiche also tastes good chilled, Yellow tomate de árbol is traditional, but red types suffice.